The Narooma indigenous and non-indigenous community got together for a day of fun at the Narooma Sports and Leisure Centre on Thursday to celebrate NAIDOC Week.
The activities were organised by the Wagonga Local Aboriginal Lands Council with the help of sponsors and supporters.
Council member Lynette Goodwin gave the Welcome to Country speech, going through the history of of NAIDOC Week and what it meant to her.
“It’s a chance to show off and represent what we have accomplished in our own community,” she said.
NAIDOC stands for National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee. Its origins can be traced to the emergence of Aboriginal groups in the 1920′s which sought to increase awareness in the wider community of the status and treatment of Indigenous Australians.
NAIDOC Week is held in the first full week of July. It is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and is an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society.
“I love NAIDOC Week and all the activities that happen each year,” Ms Goodwin said. “Everybody get out there and have a good time.”
The Gadhu Dancers from Bermagui Public School and led by Trey Parsons opened their performance with the Rainbow Serpent Dance representing the death adder. They also paid homage to their totem doing the Black Duck Dance, as well as two spearfishing dances and a bird spirit dance.
There were representatives from the Katungul Aboriginal Community Corporation and Medical Service (ACC&MS) and firefighters from the Narooma NSW Fire and Rescue brigade. Health students from the University of Canberra and Western Sydney University also participated.
Narooma Rotary members assisted with a healthy lunch with lots of salads, while there was also egg-and-spoon and sack races for the youngsters and elders.
NAIDOC Week celebrations continued Thursday night with “Koori-oke” or karaoke singing at Club Narooma starting at 7pm, which will raise funds to support two local young indigenous athletes – Wade Mongta who has been selected to run the New York City Marathon with the Indigenous Marathon Project, and also Matthew Parsons who has been selected to tour Samoa with the Country Rugby League squad.
Anyone who needs a ride to tonight’s Koori-oke can call Mary Moore on 0401 605 586.
Then Eurobodalla Council has organised a NAIDOC Week disco at the Narooma Youth Cafe on Friday evening.